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Monday
Mar072011

Status Report: March

CopyingLisa

Sitting…at my dining room table, looking out the window at the bright March morning sunshine, watching the vapour rise as the sun touches the frost on the car parked in front of the house. It’s enough of a plume to make it look like the car is running, but it’s not.

Eating…a bowl of Brown Sugar Mini-Wheats, my new favorite breakfast cereal. I just finished my morning coffee, black.

Realizing…that it’s already March 7 and I haven’t done a March status report. I should have done this last week, but maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t because the tone would have been much darker way back then.

Cleaning…nothing at the moment, but wanting to start the spring cleaning of my bedroom. Question: Do you think dustballs are a result of the fall? I need to know whether to stop hating them or not.

Thinking…that I’m way past due on a blogroll update. It’s so hard to write frequent posts and maintain a blog at the same time.

Loving…the sunshine. The longer daylight hours. The new blinds in the living room.

Reading…Nancy Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo. Yes, still. And considering which other books from the unread ones I’ve collected to read now, too.

Enjoying…my daughter’s puppy, Trapper. He’s half the size of the big pup and has to work really hard to keep up, but he loves every minute of it. He’s a great little dog, with all the right instincts except one: He got in an actual dog-fight last week. Since he usually gets along with the other dogs he meets, the problem may have been with the other dog more than Trapper. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing he’ll be getting neutered on Thursday.

Welcoming…daughter home from Costa Rica late this afternoon. She went there because one of her good friends had a “destination wedding” and she was in the wedding party. Her verdict on Costa Rica as a travel destination? Big waste of her money! Very touristy and very expensive to do anything. If she wanted a spot on the beach, she had to claim it by 6:30 AM. (Not that anyone in this family is big on beach sitting anyway.) So she spent much of her time there in her hotel feeling bored and restless.

Still waiting…for spring.

Sunday
Mar062011

Sunday's Hymn

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred head, what glory, what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

—Bernard of Clairvaux

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.

Friday
Mar042011

Round the Sphere Again: Christ

In the Old Testament
Some guidelines to finding him there. (Dan Phillips at Pyromaniacs) Excerpting the last two points from a list of imperatives:

6. There is some way in which the plain sense of Old Testament Scripture points to Jesus, from all of its parts.
7. Yet this must be uncovered and expounded in such a way that still allows a city-name to be a city-name (Matthew 2:5-6), a kingdom-name to be a kingdom-name (Matthew 2:13-14), and a donkey to be a donkey (Matthew 21:1-5).

You will want to read the whole piece, where you’ll find the whole list and more.


In the Garden
Which is, you know, in the Old Testament, so I could have just dittoed the category above. 

[F]rom the very beginning, man has tried to produce his own righteousness, and that from the beginning, God has rejected it, and has instead provided, by his grace and with his own hand, the covering we need.

Yes, Christ is there in Genesis 3. (The Thirsty Theologian)


And the Bellpocalpyse 2011
From Jared Wilson:

The idea that rejecting Christ while doing all sorts of charity — which the Bible calls self-righteousness, which is idolatry, which God forbids and for which he promises wrath — is still in keeping with the righteousness of Christ is ludicrous.

At the heart, says Jared, the issue is justification by faith.


In His Names
At The Octavius Winslow Archive

  1. Emmanuel
  2. Wonderful
  3. Counselor
  4. Mighty God
  5. Everlasting Father
  6. Prince of Peace
  7. Man of Sorrows
  8. The Resurrection and the Life
  9. Our Righteousness
  10. The Alpha and Omega
Thursday
Mar032011

Hairsplitting Minutiae and a Question for You

There’s a comment from Kane Augustus on the last theological term post and I’ve decided to respond to it in a post.

When I was in Bible College and Seminary, I really enjoyed all the differences, shades, hues, and hair-splitting in theology. Now I wonder at it all: what’s the point of it?

First of all, this question seems to assume that differences in theology are “hairsplitting.” I would disagree. The differences—at least the ones that usually come up in the Theological Term of the Week posts—are more important than that. Here’s the thing about theological “minutiae”: they fit together to form a system. If we change what we believe on one detail, our whole system tends to change over time to make all our beliefs more consistent. Kind of like the “butterfly flapping his wings in Asia” thing. That means that what we may see as trivial or unimportant because we don’t see the whole picture at once, might, in the end, change the whole picture.

This is not to say that everyone needs to be as interested in the details of theology as I am. God gifts people differently and gives them different interests.

But it is right to value theology, because at its core, theology is about knowing God by studying what he is and who he is. For instance, in the post where you left your comment, the issue in question is what God purposed to accomplish in Christ’s death and what he actually accomplished in it. Answering those questions helps us know more about God himself and his work in our world. Wrestling with those questions is about valuing God himself by valuing knowledge about him. It’s about “loving God with all our minds” which is, after all, part of the first and greatest commandment.

Isn’t a personal confession enough?

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by personal confession. But I can say this: Confession is acknowledging something to be true. Whether by personal confession you mean acknowledging something about ourselves or acknowledging something about God, it involves theology. Underneath our personal confessions are answers to the questions, “Who am I, as a human being, before God?” and “Who and what is God that I should confess something to—or about—him?”

So, how do the minutiae in theology benefit, or bolster your life?

There’s an assumption behind this question, too, and it’s that the ultimate purpose of theology is to benefit or bolster our own lives.  But isn’t the ultimate purpose of theology to give God honor by studying him and his work? It’s not  that studying theology doesn’t benefit us, but that our benefit is not the ultimate reason to do it. The ultimate reason for studying the details of theology is the same as what should be the ultimate reason for everything we do: Giving God glory.

That said, I’d say one of the personal benefit of studying God and his works is that it builds my faith in God and his promises. And I’m sure there are other personal benefits as well, but rather than listing them myself, I’d like to ask the readers of this blog: How do you benefit from studying the details of theology?

Thursday
Mar032011

Thankful Thursday

I’m thankful

  • that God’s timing is perfect.
  • that we’ve made it to March and spring is just around the corner. (Of course, just around the corner means different things in different places.)
  • for manly men with tender hearts.
  • for photos.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.